Let’s “Outsource” education…

Over 60% of the 2011 Indiana budget is going to whatever politicians and their lobbyists call “education.”  Over the past several decades, the percentage of those billions that gets to the classroom has dropped to less than 60%.  Our embarrassingly high percentage of administrative buildings and personnel, and the absurd cost of sports programs that serve a tiny percentage of elite students is inexcusable as average students get fat and fall behind their overseas peers.  American schooling is by far the most expensive, and among the least effective, in the world.

So it’s fine that there’s been talk of school funding, teachers’ unions, pensions, student nutrition and the taxation and spending rules that we’re told have something to do with learning.  Yet amidst all the chatter over vouchers, Charter Schools, “investment in our future,” and of course, sports, I’ve so far heard nothing that is both workable, and legal.

It is suspicious that Article 8 of Indiana’s Constitution appeared on the last day of the 1851 constitutional convention without a word of debate.  The person who transcribed the article (perhaps he wrote it himself?) was Robert Owen, Jr., son of the New Harmony commune’s founder, and ally of the “progressive” educator, Horace Mann.  Yet commie plot or not, the Indiana Constitution’s Article 8, Section I, does now “provide, by law, for a general and uniform system of Common Schools, wherein tuition shall be without charge, and equally open to all.

The constitution and historical context are unmistakable.  “Common Schools” were the uniform (as in identical) system of tax-subsidized schools promoted by Mann as the “ladder of opportunity” to educate poor kids without religious influences.  And Common Schools are not compulsory; parents are free to choose non tax-funded alternatives.  And the phrase, “tuition shall be without charge,” has been clarified many times over the years as meaning only tuition.  So legally, even poor parents must find money for books, lunch, transportation, and in fact everything but tuition.  Sports were certainly not part of school.  Besides, that’s what parks and public gymnasiums were for; so that even kids who weren’t in school had something to do.

Article 8, Section 2 mandates a Common School Trust Fund derived from corporate taxes and other statewide sources that forbid any local funding, like personal property tax, because we don’t need the brute force of politics to achieve inequality between rich and poor areas.  In fact, Article 4, Section 22 says, “The General Assembly shall not pass local or special laws… Providing for the support of common schools, or the preservation of school funds.”

Of course Article 8 wasn’t necessary.  There already was a rapidly-developing system of “Free and Fee” schools, but almost all of the tuition-free schools were run by churches.   Churches had been America’s Department of Health, Education and Welfare before we gave everything unto Caesar and his non-voluntary collection plate.  However, churches are, as you have no doubt heard, religious.  And Article I, Section 6 of the new constitution decreed that “No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution.”  So yes, Indiana legally gave at least something unto Caesar by creating Common Schools.  But at least the intent was understandable, and the clearly-written rules for schools and their funding was better than what we’re doing now.

Both state and federal constitutions forbid politicians and bureaucrats the near-monopoly and practical mandate power over education they now exert.  And though many of us are opposed to any socialized education on moral, religious and practical grounds, Indiana’s original socialists came up with a far more reasonable scheme than what we’ve devolved to now.

Maybe online education could break our governments’ unconstitutional, monopolistic stranglehold, and drop the now crazy costs.  Maybe homeschooling will take off and parents would have better accountability for their children and our collective future.  And maybe, just maybe, we could also do the constitutions as written, and provide Common Schools, funded as described in Article 8 of the Indiana Constitution (Common School endowment fund, with NO PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX INVOLVED) so that schools would be identical for rich and poor.   I hope so.  It would be the best thing to happen to Hoosier kids in decades.  I wish I could be the one to sell it.

Summer 2010 Indiana Policy Review

Here’s the latest Indiana Policy Review summer 2010 journal – “A Tea Party Primer.”  Please pass it on to everybody you know.  Tell them to pass it on to everybody they know.


It’s now or never, my friends…

Here’s one last column before I take down this site:

I have never believed in the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, or that creepy Tooth Fairy thing. 

But that doesn’t mean that I haven’t nurtured other baseless, nutty beliefs until some painful paroxysm jolted me awake. 

Many years ago, under horrible personal circumstances, I endured the same spiritual upheaval you’re feeling right now.  Just as with you, my religion turned out to be a big lie.  My false god turned against me, just as it’s turning against you now.  So like you, I can no longer believe in the charity, peace and love of …politicians. 

While initially painful, there is relief in this truth that sets you free. 

But there’s another problem.  Nobody alive remembers how liberty works.  We cannot imagine how schools, roads jobs, healthcare, or food ever existed without a political genesis, subsequent bailouts, lawsuits and bipartisan bickering.  Only if you’re over 100 years old did you even exist when there was such a thing as a free market; with all the innovation, competition and rapid advancement that entails.

So as we endure the agony of Change that’s not working, we must thoughtfully prepare a better way forward.  I suggest we first retrieve what we’ve lost from the past.

All federal authority is still clearly written into the Constitution for the United States of America (Article I, Section 8; Article II, Sections 2-4; Article III), which you could read in just a few minutes.  All other powers are still very clearly denied by one short sentence (Amendment 10).  Similarly, all Indiana government powers are spelled out in the Indiana Constitution, while every other conceivable power is still denied by a single sentence (Article I, Section 25).

No state or federal constitution was ever amended, altered or suspended to authorize most of what governments now do to citizens.  Nullification of anything unconstitutional is already law at every level of government in the republic.  So we have the right, the power, and the duty, to tell politicians to back off; all the way back to the constitutions.

Here’s a summary of what that means:

  1. Citizens can do whatever they want to as long as they don’t harm anybody else, or take what’s not theirs.
  2. We’d have no more government than necessary to maintain #1
  3. We invite others around the world to emulate our success, but otherwise leave them the heck alone.
  4. Your major civic duty is to disobey, invalidate and otherwise eliminate all unconstitutional taxes, mandates, organizations and agents.  Yes, civil disobedience is a duty. 

So caveat emptor would replace the FDA, FTC, FDIC, FCC and a zillion other F’agencies.  Common sense, family ties, competition, voluntary associations, charity and free market options galore would replace union/corporate monstrosities, Medicare, Social Security, lobbyists, regulations, litigation and price controls.  And because of the preceding, you get to keep what you earn, buy what you like (smoke it if you’re fool enough – and as long as you don’t blow it in my face), and live however and with whomever you want…as long as you leave others, and their stuff, alone.

No federal tooth fairies, no President coming down the chimney with presents, no more bogus political promises; just a reality proven to work better than anything else ever tried.

That may not be a Square Deal or a New Deal.  But it’s a fair deal, which makes it the best deal in all of human history. 

Can you live with that? 

People used to call that “freedom.”

And they liked it.

A Short History of Health Care: Let Doctors Be Doctors

I just ran across this on another website.  It’s a column I wrote for Indiana Policy Review a couple of years ago that seems more appropriate than ever now.

A Short History of Health Care: Let Doctors Be Doctors
By Andrew Horning

Healthcare is an odd business in that it has always been both expensive and unpleasant. Until the 1920s, the average doctor couldn’t even help with the average ailment. While medicine then included a range of arts like phrenology, acupuncture, homeopathy and allopathy it really was a coin-toss whether you’d be saved or killed by a doctor’s work.

Then the 20’s brought insulin, sulfa, other “miracle” drugs and sterile fields that meant, for the first time, that healthcare actually worked more often than not. From there, doctors, scientists and medical engineers really took off; rapid advancements increased life expectancies and decreased suffering. And because of increasing effectiveness and supply, healthcare was even becoming cheaper in real cost-benefit terms.

However, politicians had nothing at all to do with this, and that was apparently a problem. Teddy Roosevelt proposed a German-style, cradle-to-grave “socialized” healthcare system, but it was assailed as “the Prussian Menace” in those anti-German years before WWI, and Teddy’s scheme died. Even so, politicians wanting to seem compassionate started promoting socialized healthcare. The July 1919 issue of the Insurance Monitor made this prescient assertion: “The opportunities for fraud upset all statistical calculations. . . . Health and sickness are vague terms open to endless construction. Death is clearly defined, but to say what shall constitute such loss of health as will justify insurance compensation is no easy task.”

No matter. Between The Revenue Act of 1939’s health-related tax breaks, and 1943, when the War Labor Board excluded employer-paid health insurance from its wage freeze, American politicians charged into health care on their favorite horse, income tax.

In a nutshell, here’s what happened: Tax breaks for employer-paid health insurance meant that health insurance became a part of employment, and insurance became an integral part of healthcare. This inserted middlemen, which of course made everything more expensive. But who cared? The tax-subsidized, payroll-deducted cost was invisible enough that Americans started using insurance to pay for routine visits, dental checkups, eyeglasses and even plastic surgery. Group insurance offered large corporations better plans than small companies could muster, giving large corporations even greater advantages in hiring and competition than corporate laws already gave them. This also meant that the poor, or worse, the self employed, were even further distanced from the rich and incorporated in a very serious way. Obviously this created problems, but politicians never admit error, do they?

Four days before Tax Day, 1953, President Dwight Eisenhower established the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, giving government even more direct control over some of humanity’s most precious commodities. More political money and power meant more reasons for businesses to make campaign contributions and lobby. Of course, politicians at every level of government have used healthcare policy to reward their friends and punish their enemies. That’s their stock in trade.

Now tax money and policy is sifted and sorted through political appointees, immortal bureaucracies and defense-contract-style arrangements to feed a dwindling number of profit-starved insurance companies who then deny your claim. Doctors hire legions of workers to manage the regulatory, litigative, and insurance paperwork hassles; or leave private practice to become an employee within a clerically staffed healthcare corporation. So healthcare is still both expensive and unpleasant. But now it’s only because politicians, not doctors, are practicing medicine. Our healthcare injustices and vital statistics have decayed into an embarrassment at just the time when technology should make healthcare cheap, effective and available to all.

It is hard to imagine what politicians could have done to make our healthcare situation any worse.  Yet, according to a July 2006 Harris Poll, Americans rate the issue of healthcare well-behind Iraq, the economy, immigration and even gas prices.  Even more strangely, most people now think we must, to some degree and by some unspecified method, “socialize” healthcare just as Europe, Canada and other nations are now scrambling back toward free market reforms.  What are we thinking?

Can you imagine granting our corrupt politicians, already bought out by Big Pharma and other Big Corporations the power to determine what we do to, and with, our bodies?

Let politicians have their way with Iraq, the Colts and toll roads. Let them run lotteries and practice voodoo.  But please, let doctors do healthcare at last; they’ve earned the right.


Do it for the children…

The Indy Star made some seemingly minor edits to my gubernatorial candidate submission, but I thought I’d better post the original here just in case you wanted to see what I’d actually sent them (or in case you don’t get the Star):


We all want what’s best for our kids.  Nobody wants to believe we’re screwing up our kids with government schools.  So it’s natural and common to deny the extent and nature of the problems with our schools.  But our schools are literally a criminal shame.

I don’t have space to detail the problems with unconstitutional regulations and bureaucracies that sap teachers’ authority and initiative.  I wish I could shed light on corruption like the Tremco/AEPA/Wilson Education Center no-bid jobs; or discuss the injustice of low teacher pay against six-figure salaries for school administrators, sports coaches and of course union officials.  You can see the problems if you dare to look.  What’s important is that we can fix the problems if only we’ll change the way we think, and vote, about schools.

A good start would be to examine what was originally designed, acknowledge what devolved, and then plan a fix.

Article 8 of the Indiana Constitution is the law respecting our tax-supported education system.  The key words are “…and provide, by law, for a general and uniform system of Common Schools, wherein tuition shall be without charge, and equally open to all.”

When our constitution was written, “Common School” meant the uniform and simple system of primary (not secondary) education promoted by Horace Mann as the “ladder of opportunity.”  As opposed to the free church-run schools of the day, Common Schools were intended to give poor children a non-Christian education.  They were to be state-funded with no disparity between rich and poor regions.  And these uniform schools were meant to be rigidly focused on scholastic achievement, so that a Common School graduate would be ready to work in the real world with useful skills in mathematics, science, communication and technology.  Colleges and universities were only for those who needed specialized, advanced training for academia, medicine or engineering.  After all, real life (and drop-outs like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Thomas Edison…) won’t wait through two decades in a classroom. 

Article 8, Sections 2 through 7 lay out specific funding by an “inviolate” and “perpetual” Common School trust fund.   Of course that fund was violated and is now gone.  But the fund is still law, to be maintained through many specified sources including “taxes on the property of corporations.”  What is excluded, and therefore not authorized, is personal property tax

So legally, half of your property tax bill is unconstitutional. 

This is the law.  If we don’t like it, then let’s talk about how we’d amend it. 

But I believe the law is vastly better than what we’ve fallen into with our political chicanery.  So here’s what I propose we do:

We’d de-consolidate toward a greater number of smaller schools where buses become obsolete in all but rural areas, so that parents and teachers can more easily collaborate; and kids would no longer be such tiny fish in such large oceans.  Teachers would have authority to teach, to expect a high standard of performance, and to expel.  No more “dumbing-down” or lowering standards to fit a curve.  Teachers would be rewarded for performance, not just for paying union dues. We would spin off sporting facilities into community centers and gyms so that kids don’t have to be genetically gifted to play. 

…We all know kids who need more opportunities to exercise. 

And while there is no excuse for compromising necessities like music and art instruction, microscopes, and a clean, healthy environment; homeschool successes have demonstrated that education doesn’t have to be vast and expensive.  And it wouldn’t be, if school money went solely to teachers, smaller-scale buildings, and education supplies.

Besides being an improvement on what we do now, this is the law.

But so is, believe it or not, “school choice.”  There is nothing in the constitution or historical understanding, to deny parents the option to choose homeschooling, church or other private schools. 

Doesn’t this already give everybody what they say they want?  I say that’s a great compromise, and already ours by law.


Horning for Governor FAQ:

1.  Education: The constitution mandates Common Schools, or identical, inexpensive, focused and high-quality community schools funded by only the state.  These are not some freakish and inequitable monstrosity of local, state and federal funding.  These schools are about education, which involves books; not cafeterias, buses, and expensive sports facilities.  Fitness for all kids has suffered since we now have fewer sports teams since school “consolidation,” which means fewer opportunities and outlets for most kids.  This is all terribly wrong.  Our primary schools should provide what has degraded into college-level education.  They should not be farm-teams for the pro’s, or social indoctrination centers for politicians and their campaign contributors.  It’s time to treat this seriously.  The solution?  Govern our government.


2.  Taxes:  I’ve been a consistent leader in tax issues, movements and protests since 1998.  I’ve always opposed property tax, and I lead the property tax protests that started in the spring and summer of 2007.  But taxation is a symptom, not a disease in itself.  Taxation is, of course, the forcibly-extracted wage of politics.  We will have it as long as we have politicians.  I wrote a paper on this subject (starting on page 17) which you can access here with a free signup.  But if we put a leash on those bad boys, our tax bite will be much, much less serious and more sustainable.  Govern government and taxes will be few, simple and small.


3. Gas prices: Oy vey have we been lied to about this one!  Oil company profits are a little shy of 10%, which is pretty high for them, but only about half the average profits of businesses like tobacco, publishing, software and shipping.  Taxes, however, comprise about 30% of the price of each gallon.  You tell me who’s making scandalous profit.  Next consider the regulations and 30-year moratoria imposed upon USA oil production and refinement.  I’m surprised gas isn’t more expensive.  But then look at the value of the central bank’s so-called “dollar” (which was once, before 1913, defined as a specific assay of gold/silver) – in inflation-adjusted price, gas is about the same as it was about 60 years ago!  So, our so-called “Federal Reserve” scammers and their pet politicians are robbing you; not the oil companies.  The solution?  Govern our government.  Leash our politicians to law.


4. Crime: I wrote a paper on this subject which you can access here with a free signup.  While I wrote it in relation to Indianapolis crime, it applies everywhere.  The bottom-line best solution to crime?  Go after the real criminals: Govern our government.


5. Citizen rights:  No compromises.  Should I become Governor, you will have all your state (and with enough support, federal also) rights again; no mere illusion of conditional privileges.  Rights cannot be regulated.  Either you have them or you don’t.  I am all about enforcing the restrictions on politicians that ensure your rights.


6. Gerrymandering: Back in the 1990’s I proposed that all districts have at least one right angle enclosing at least 40% of the district’s area.  There.  Problem solved.  But since this is a legislative issue, I’ll only suggest it again.


7. Death Penalty: As far as the death penalty goes, I am very, very conflicted.  I believe a just and legally-governed state has the right to kill people who are beyond rehabilitation, and who we cannot otherwise tolerate in society.  But our state isn’t just or legal at all.  I’m not so sure it ever could be (unless I win, of course J).  And since death penalties cost taxpayers more money than do truly life-term sentences, I’m generally opposed.


8. “Why are you running, Andy?”:  I’m running for the constitutional office of Indiana Governor because nobody else is.  I want to govern government, not you.  I aim to take the choker-collar of law off of you and put it onto politicians.  We need public servants, not tyrants.

Re-thinking education. No; REALLY re-thinking education.

Every election season politicians scold us about “education.”  We must pay more, we are told, for the education of our young.  And this education must last from near-birth until at least a Bachelors Degree.  That’s a long time to entrust our kids into govenment schools.  That’s a long time to spend before starting your life.  That’s a lot of money that could be invested in other ways.

Does this make any sense?

Computer Moguls Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (Apple); Bill Gates and Paul Allen (Microsoft), Lawrence Ellison (Oracle) and Michael Dell (Dell) are not the only famous and successful college dropouts.  There are lots of them.  There are also an awful lot of successful people who’d dropped out of high school, or never had any formal schooling at all.

Nobody would be surprised that Jimmy Dean, Louis Armstrong and most other performers aren’t well-educated in the formal sense.  Even gifted writers like Mark Twain, Faulkner and Shakespeare …especially ones like Jackie Collins, had no credentials other than success.  And why bother to mention painters like Monet and van Gogh?  You’d never expect a famous artist to possess a PhD, or even both ears.

Maybe political pundit types like Rush Limbaugh and Nina Totenberg don’t count since they just talk, and it’s their listeners about whose education we need to ponder.  For similar reasons, politicians probably shouldn’t count.  It’s voters who really call the shots.  But not even the brilliant Patrick Henry (he did gain a law degree, but he taught himself…as did President Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln) or George Washington had college education.  Perhaps political theorists like Henry George and Thomas Paine should’ve had college degrees; but they didn’t.

It’s a little odd that politicians, a class of society that ranks lower than you might suspect in education achievement, push us so hard into government schools; but let us continue…

Certainly, you can imagine that multi-billionaires like Kirk Kerkorian, Richard Branson, Robert Maxwell or Thomas Haffa didn’t need college education to amass vast college-free wealth like Kroc and Carnegie and Rockefeller and… 

Hmmm… Is that why they call them “self-made millionaires?”

But what about inventors and scientists like George Eastman and Benjamin Franklin?  How about the Wright brothers, Henry Ford, Michael Faraday, Anton van Leeuwenhoek, Heinrich Schliemann and …Albert Einstein?

Well, sort of.  Einstein wrote his first scientific papers while in high school, dropped out, later failed an entrance exam to college and came up with a lot of his most famous ideas before actually finishing high school.  He eventually got a college degree, but then was unemployed.  He became famous while he worked as …a patent clerk.

Scientists don’t usually become famous anymore, so you’d probably not have heard that child-prodigies like Philip Emeagwali and Jaron Lanier dropped out of high school before their successes in science. 

And if you were to poll the boardrooms of the biggest companies in the world, you may find a bunch of MBAs sitting around the tables.  But the people in the Big Chairs are more often college dropouts – or they never even went to college.  It’s fact that the bulk of the world’s millionaires made their money in real estate, where post-middle-school education just isn’t that useful.  Many other millionaires simply sell stuff, and you don’t need a degree for that.

Yet it’s also fact that throughout history, many of the greatest inventors, scientists, engineers, philosophers, musicians, writers and polymaths (“Renaissance Men” who excelled in numerous fields) had little to no formal education.  Thomas Edison had only three weeks of formal schooling.  Many people, like H.G. Wells, taught for years before they got a college degree, then became famous for doing something barely related to their education.

Despite all the political hand-wringing about a lack of “science and math education,” we have an awful lot of science and math graduates who’re either unemployed, or working in areas unrelated to their education.

Why am I going on about all this?  Because one would be hard-pressed to come up with a successful person who got successful correctly.  That’s why.  Few notably-successful people do what our Teachers Union-Approved education system says is necessary for success. 

…And because well-over half of your local tax load supports a big, fat lie.  That’s why.

Personally, I wish I’d not wasted so much time getting my head twisted around in college.  I wish I had recognized the faulty programming I was receiving sooner, and had acted in the interests of my own life, instead of playing out the whims and bad ideas of politicians.  It could have been like adding twenty years to my life.

None of us should be ants, operating as a collective and living only for the hive.  None of us are machine parts, to be assembled by an all-knowing state into a transmission of political values.  I grieve for the young minds and souls being lock-stepped into some illusory and backwards “diversity,” which amounts to the ultimate conformity, crushing the individuals we were born to be.  Our founders had a much better plan in mind for us, of course.  

And yet, home-schooling moms just may build an even better future than what our founders dared dream:

Imagine learning without any political interference at all. 

Imagine learning where those who’re most deeply connected to a child’s well-being and development as a successful person, are the ones who feed the mind as well as the body.

Imagine kids coming from home-schools growing up with the knowledge that politicians did not make them what they are today. 

Imagine that these kids then look at the world and political tangles we leave them, and then declare it not good enough.

Ahhh…There is hope. 

What you don’t know may be killing you…

Article 1, Section 1 of the Indiana Constitution says that “…the People have, at all times, an indefeasible right to alter and reform their government.”  

So citizens are, by both the practice of voting and by our specific law, totally in charge of Indiana, and there is no excuse for blaming anyone else…except perhaps the excuse of ignorance.  And ignorance is not a good idea right now.  We are in troubled times.

Constitutions are leashes on politicians’ power, not on our rights.  I am certain that we’d not have any our most serious social problems if politicians would obey constitutions as written. 

But you wouldn’t know this without reading the contract, so let’s touch a few key points from the Indiana Constitution:

Article 1, Section 12. Justice shall be administered freely, and without purchase; completely, and without denial; speedily, and without delay.” 

It makes sense that your taxes should pay for courts and trials instead of for Colts.  Duh.  But does this clear law bear any resemblance to judicial practice in Indiana?  Have you tried to stand before a court quickly and without purchase?  What the heck happened here?

Article 1, Section 19. In all criminal cases whatever, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts.” 

This means that citizen jurors, not lawyers, and not judges, determine what the law means, and how it applies to the case at hand.  Is this what judges and lawyers tell juries?  No, it is not.

Article 1, Section 22. The privilege of the debtor to enjoy the necessary comforts of life, shall be recognized by wholesome laws, exempting a reasonable amount of property from seizure or sale, for the payment of any debt or liability hereafter contracted: and there shall be no imprisonment for debt, except in case of fraud.”

So if a home isn’t one of the necessary comforts of life, what is?  What other property could this be talking about…silverware?  …satellite TV?  …isn’t a place to rest your head a pretty fundamental comfort of life?  It’s clear in these words that a person’s home cannot be legally seized and sold to pay for any state tax!

Article 8 of the Constitution is one of the more clearly-written parts of Indiana’s Constitution.  Ironically, it is perhaps the most abused area of state law and political practice. 

It is in Article 8, Section 1 that Hoosiers are promised “…a general and uniform system of Common Schools, wherein tuition shall without charge, and equally open to all.”

…Uniform?  What is uniform about our school system?  We have a terribly unfair mix of college-like campuses, wealthy neighborhood palaces, crumbling heaps, and of course, lots and lots of administration buildings. 

It was decided long ago that books aren’t a part of the tax-paid expenses, as they’re not clearly mentioned in Article 8.  But we’ve since apparently decided that swimming pools, stadiums and cafeterias are a part of schools. 

Does this make any sense?

Sports facilities used to be what Community Centers were for; and kids were expected to bring their own lunches to school (or poor kids could get box lunches delivered).  How in the world did we figure that sports and Coke machines are more important to education than are…books? 

And does it make any sense at all that state-supported football coaches get paid more than all the top elected officials in the state…put together?

Much of the core problem is that we’ve devolved and “consolidated” state common schools into a local/state hybrid, with money and much planning/building authority coming from local taxes and local spending authorities that defeat the point of state funding and, obviously, the possibility of state-wide uniformity in any way.

This is what killed community centers, community schools and more significantly, opportunity.  We have fewer, larger schools than we used to, which means that not only are kids smaller fish in bigger oceans, but they have less chance of playing football in the multimillion dollar stadia.  They have less chance of playing chess, or playing tuba, or singing in the Senior Play. 

After school, the kids who aren’t tall enough for basketball, or smart enough for the Debate Team, have no place to go for wholesome diversion.

And we really screwed up how we pay for it all this madness:

“Article 8, Section 3. The principal of the Common School fund shall remain a perpetual fund, which may be increased, but shall never be diminished; and the income thereof shall be inviolably appropriated to the support of Common Schools, and to no other purpose whatever.”

…Principal?  …Perpetual fund?  Good idea!  It is a crime, literally, that we don’t do anything like this. 

But read Article 8, Section 2 very carefully.  It lays out from where the state can collect money that doesn’t come from the endowment fund, and personal property is not mentioned.  Only “…Taxes on the property of corporations, that may be assessed by the General Assembly for common school purposes.

It’s only corporate property tax that’s to be used for schools! 

Do you have any idea how much this would reduce your property tax bill?!? 

But wait, there’s more!  The Indiana Constitution isn’t nearly as good as our federal constitution, but it’s far, far better than what our politicians are doing to us…

Article 10, Section 5, No law shall authorize any debt to be contracted, on behalf of the State, except in the following cases: to meet casual deficits in the revenue; to pay the interest on the State Debt; to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, or, if hostilities be threatened, provide for the public defense.

Deficits in revenue are not the same as deficits in desired spending.  Governor Daniels has actually been the best guardian of the treasury we’ve had in years, so this isn’t as much of a problem now as in years past.  But most of Indiana’s debt has been illegal.

Section 6. No county shall subscribe for stock in any incorporated company, unless the same be paid for at the time of such subscription; nor shall any county loan its credit to any incorporated company, nor borrow money for the purpose of taking stock in any such company; nor shall the General Assembly ever, on behalf of the State, assume the debts of any county, city, town, or township; nor of any corporation whatever.

Colts, Pacers…lots of corporations would oppose what this clearly says; because it says that an awful lot of what government spends your money on is illegal.

Article 11, Section 12. The State shall not be a stockholder in any bank; nor shall the credit of the State ever be given, or loaned, in aid of any person, association or corporation; nor shall the State become a stockholder in any corporation or association.

Read that a few times.  Let it roll around in your head.  This would wipe out an awful lot of our troubles.  This is even clearer than article 6 in legally prohibiting much of what our government does with our money.  Remember, Indiana’s current constitution was written (and the old one scrapped) because of over-investment in the Erie Canal system (note: this was public transportation…not sports teams).  Those earlier politicians didn’t want to break the bank again by “investing” in anything.

ARTICLE 15., Section 4. Every person elected or appointed to any office under this Constitution, shall, before entering on the duties thereof, take an oath or affirmation, to support the Constitution of this State, and of the United States, and also an oath of office.

So anyone who holds any office mentioned in the constitution is under the authority of constitutions, both state and federal.  And they must obey these constitutions.  Simple as that.

Our jobs, products, health, education and welfare should be as plentiful and effective as computer technology; with as much range of price and quality as with coffee, or shoes.  Our lives should be more up to us, and less directed by politics.  But illegal laws get in the way.

Whose fault is this?

Well, now you know.  There is no longer any excuse for it.  We need to snap the leash back on our politicians…and of course take it off of us.